Roger was attacked with a knife during evening prayers attended by some 2,500 young people at the Reconciliation church in Taize, in the eastern Burgundy region.Look for a glowing tribute from B16 in the morning.
He was seriously wounded and died from his wounds despite immediate help by rescuers, a community member told AFP.
Police said the suspect hit the community founder three times in the back before she could be overpowered.
"We are in shock; there is a lot of confusion here; nobody understands what happened," a nun told AFP.
She said that Brother Francois, who was close to Roger, explained what had happened during prayer and asked people to remain inside the church to pray....
Brother Alois, a 51-year-old German Catholic, was chosen by Brother Roger as his heir-apparent eight years ago and was returning from the World Youth Day jamboree in Cologne to take his place, a community spokesman said.
Brother Alois had been a member of the Taize group for 32 years and travelled widely in eastern Europe for the community, spokesman Brother Emile said.
The Taize community groups members of several Christian denominations from some 30 countries and welcomes tens of thousands of young people every year for spiritual reflection and prayer.
In Cologne, news of Brother Roger's death provoked consternation among the hundreds of thousands of young Catholics present for the festival, to be attended by Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday...
The president of the French Bishops' Conference, Archbishop of Bordeaux Jean-Pierre Ricard, wrote to the Taize community expressing his "deep grief" after the murder of "this great figure of a researcher and witness of God, impassioned by unity among Christians and reconciliation."
Overnight here at the community many young people remained meditating in the church while others wandered around outside, shocked and haggard.